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Article By: Chris Callen
Originally Published In The July 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Of the many things, my grandpa said before he left this shitty ol world, “The World Hates A Thief” was one of the things that comes to mind today. Now, I’m not looking to use this column as a personal soapbox to bring any case of my own to the court of public opinion, no, this is just an observation. It seems along with the many things that the glorious technology of social media has brought to us; it has taken away a great deal. As it applies to our thing here, the motorcycle culture, the simple things like a hard work ethic, a strong will and the kind of perseverance it takes to make a name in an industry where you never have enough time or money to make it happen. At first, I thought that the break the social media platforms gave us was a much-needed break, and in some ways, it has been fantastic, but other things about it have been shortcuts and distractions that kinda take us down a path of the instafamous ruling the world while the silent few still carrying out the work get passed over.
It shouldn’t be the influencers and popularity jockeys that get so much love from this lost and terrified industry. But that’s not the half of it, the real loss here is that it has taken away some of the core values that made this such a great thing, like honesty. I have sat back over the last ten years and watched as thievery, both petty and on grander scale has not only been overlooked but now seems to be accepted as common practice. Oh, I don’t mean the kind of stealing where you just take another person’s motorcycle, which still gets dealt with harshly, and I’m glad to see it. But no, this type of thievery is one that tricks hard-working men and women out of their few free dollars after paying the bills, making sure the family buggy has fuel for the work week and making sure the kids are fed. This is the most pathetic system of making a profit in the world. When a person that busts their ass all week just to get to payday decides to turn over a few bucks to you for a piece of happiness, and you screw them out of it, with either a shitty product or shitty service when something goes wrong, then you are the devil himself.
Seriously, life is hard man and to see this type of behavior go unpunished in our culture today sucks. It used to get dealt with through the employment of a good ole fat lip, but I know the world is too PC for that today, but how about we just don’t do business with these clowns and charlatans anymore? Ahhh, back to social media. If “THEY” have a strong following, no one wants to anger them for fear of reprisal. That’s sad as hell if their friends and followers can’t see the guilt in what they perpetrate, then to hell with them too. Maybe it’s just me; perhaps it’s that I’m getting older or that I just grew up in an area where the value of a dollar was real, and so was the struggle, but this blows my mind. It seems today that we all do more asscovering in fear of keyboard terrorism than we should think twice about.
Here’s a new slogan for 2018, “The Year of Kiss My Ass” and with that powerful phrase maybe we can stop worrying how many followers of some jackass pulling a scam might hit our dislike button and start standing up for what’s right. I’ve seen a few of you do it, of course, I’ve seen a whole lot of people who just rant and pile on a negative dog shit fight too, that’s not the same thing. Until we get the same respect for people from all ends of our culture and stop this over glorification of influencers and the pop-culture trying to run shit up in here, we are all doomed to wear the “I’m With Stupid Shirt” … Yeah, I said it!